Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Sorrows I Have Known...

Sometimes when I freak out like I have so often lately, I look back--not with fondness but with surprise at how quickly time flies--to periods of misery from the past.

I think the point is to say: But you were so miserable. You survived. It looked grim. It looked hopeless. You just kept going. Do that now.

(Of course, there's also the thought--sheesh. I've had enough of this. AGAIN?)

The absurd thing is that when I get through one of these sorrowful periods I immediately tell myself damnit! That's the last time!

But it never is.

The good thing about looking back is that it is a kind of nostalgia where you get to remember the past...along with your recollection of melancholy comes a bit of retro. Not even really recent retro "of Playstation One and marginally larger cel phones"

Sometimes such memories are very '90s, lying on a balcony, too drunk to move and hearing above the party's roar, the dialogue from Will and Grace float up from the apartment below.

But if I spend enough time hearkening back I can get to a period 1980s retro of listening to 1960s music. A double whammy...nostalgia within nostalgia.

Like me curled up for days in bed chain smoking and crying and listening to the Velvet Underground. That's right--smoking! Indoors! Remember that?

I lived off pudding for a week or so and then hated pudding and then later developed some kind of retro pudding craving that haunts me to this day.

It was in the period of the Ice Capades and Smurfs because I do remember a friend borrowing my coat, going out tripping and having a very strange trip due to things she kept finding in my pockets--apparently, dozens of Smurf Ice Capades flyers and Swiss Miss cocoa packets.

I was artistic. Hence, I saved things. For sculptures and stuff.

Now I still am a pack rat and it makes my life hell. Nor can I explain it fully. Except with two thing: First the thought, "I might need that later." (From someone who has made no installations/sculptures/mobiles for over a decade I still can't break the habit.) Then the fact that I can become nostalgic and emotionally attached to anything--even a scrap of paper, if it is the right scrap at the right time.

I used to justify this sick collecting habit by invoking Proust...but I stopped because that's pretty pathetic.

I threw some stuff away today and it made me so happy even though I know I will need it later.

Actually, it occurs to me that my retro is kind of sad in and of itself because even when I go back to the Joy Division days--a fairly recognizable soundtrack--there's so many retro memories that are either too obscure or else badly dated by objects that fail to fit the period. Flipper? I have a retro misery memory of the band Flipper. Who even knows about Flipper anymore?

Like now--I listen to Chopin. How's that going to play in the future when I recall my current misery? Chopin--could be any damn time at all.

Oh, but I forgot, the imminent (very imminent) baby will make dating the current craziness really easy. In case I ever feel the need to look back. Hey, that's something anyway.


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